While COVID-19 has changed the ways we gather, celebrate, and honour one another, it has not changed the way our neighbours step up to support each other in times of crisis, from making essential grocery trips for immunocompromised neighbours to making wellness phone call checks for seniors or helping newcomer families access the support services they need.
Early in the summer of 2020, in collaboration with Apartment613, we sent out a call for nominations to honour local volunteers who stepped up in this time of need. Together, we recognized five outstanding COVID Heroes with Community Builder Awards to honour the incredible work they did to support their communities and the most vulnerable people within them throughout the pandemic.
In August 2020, we chose to honour eight more remarkable volunteers who uplifted their community during COVID-19, showing constant selflessness and care during unprecedented times. In November, we honoured six more local community builders, and in February 2021 we awarded six local heroes who have gone above and beyond to support their communities.
We’re proud to introduce you to three more incredible community builders. With the help of these change makers and their unwavering support for their community, more people across our region feel connected, nourished, comfortable, encouraged, safe, involved, and heard.
Read below for a post on Community Builder Kim Hyslop, and check out our other Community Builder posts from this week.
Kim Hyslop is a criminal lawyer who demonstrates an outstanding commitment of service to Ottawa and her community at large. In late 2015, Kim became a founding director of Barristers for a Better Bytown, a charity focused on raising funds to support charitable causes in the Ottawa area with projects and initiatives that help at-risk children and youth, people experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable groups within our community.
Currently serving as the Treasurer of Barristers for a Better Bytown, Kim has offered her support in logistical planning and financial work for the organization. Finding new recipients or local groups to support, organizing new projects and fundraising initiatives to take on, and even recruiting fellow local lawyers and non-members to attend events and contribute to the cause—Kim does it all.
Kim’s creativity, enthusiasm, and passion for supporting those in need have greatly contributed to her success as a fundraiser and volunteer.
“I truly think that my work with the charity has been a group effort…and I’m so grateful for everyone that participates with our charity. I’m actually speechless at this point!”
In late 2019, Kim held a holiday food drive, inviting local law firms, judges, and support staff to compete against each other to see who could collect the most food for local food banks. Kim’s nominator Rosalind notes that she happily lugged many bags of food downtown to assist with the drive. While Kim had only expected to support five local food centres in the area, the food drive was far more successful than expected, and Kim and her fellow lawyers delivered donations of over seven tonnes of non-perishable food, plus warm clothing like toques and socks, to seven local centres and the Ottawa Food Bank.
In the past five years, Kim and her team of legal professionals have raised over $53,000 for local charities in our region. She has spent hundreds of hours organizing local events and volunteering opportunities for groups such as the Snowsuit Fund, the Shepherds of Good Hope, Parkdale Food Centre, and Habitat for Humanity.
On top of her work with Barristers for a Better Bytown, Kim has also been a volunteer with ABLE2 (formerly known as Citizen’s Advocacy), a local organization that works to support and connect people with disabilities, for over 10 years.
Do you know a community builder who has gone above and beyond to support their community through COVID-19? Our Community Builder Awards program accepts nominations year-round! Find out more here.